Outdoor

9 Apps to Make Your Travel Easy

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Book zilch ahead of time.
Now, thanks to a heap of smart travel apps and websites, you can spend less time planning and researching and more time actually getting the most out of your trip.
Best of all, you can download 3D maps for when you’re out of cell range.
Bonus: It’ll also help you find the cheapest gas on the road.
Avalanche Forecasts (Free) Pro skier Elyse Sausgstad recommends Avalanche Forecasts, which connects to every avalanche center on the West Coast of North America.
Dayuse (Free) There might be a lot of reasons you’d need a high-end hotel room for just a couple hours while traveling: to score a gym workout and a shower during a camping road trip, take a nap after an overnight flight, or use the Wi-Fi for a quiet private office in the middle of the day.
With Dayuse, you can book a room at more than 3,000 hotels around the world from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at prices up to 75 percent off the regular rate.
Gociety (Free) In a new place and need a climbing or skiing partner?
Gaia GPS ($30) “On any backcountry adventure, I always have my iPhone with downloaded USGS topographic maps on the Gaia GPS app,” says ultrarunner Jeff Browning.
Hopper (Free) Tell Hopper where in the world you want to go, and it’ll tell you the cheapest airfare available, predict whether the fare is likely to rise or fall, and notify you when your desired flight drops in price.

An Inside Look at a Winter Expedition

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“The winter for me is a place of wonderful extremes in which I have always found peace and quiet in the snow covered mountains.” To get a better idea of the ins and outs of the Colorado Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding course, I contacted Chris, as well as Ty, who are both seasoned winter Instructors for Outward Bound’s skiing and snowboarding expeditions in the Colorado Rockies.
Both are passionate, powder-hungry skiers and snowboarders who have instructed many winter courses in Colorado.
There are many Outward Bound courses that involve snow, but there is no other course that devotes more time to skiing and riding than the Colorado Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding expedition.
Chris adds that one of his favorite things about instructing this course is watching students who have never skied powder before get a taste of what it’s like.
Chris and Ty both agree that the best part of camping in snow is getting to build the coolest living arrangements.
Ty’s favorite moment with students was on a course during New Year’s Eve.
“What I see students taking away from these winter courses is a new found layer to what they can achieve,” says Chris.
I believe life is all about embracing challenges and new experiences.
I have found few experiences that are as challenging and simultaneously rewarding as a winter Outward Bound course.
That’s why Chris and Ty come back year after year as Instructors.

Where Have All the Salmon Gone?

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When the Klamath dams come out the Spring Chinook will thrive.
To get to the largest surviving population of wild Spring Chinook salmon on the Klamath River, I drive farther north than I’ve ever been in California, then turn right.
Tomorrow, we are going to swim down 75 miles of the Salmon River, counting every Spring Chinook salmon we run across.
Because the Salmon river is cold, fast, and full of rocks, our goal is to cover as much of our bodies with neoprene as possible.
The only thing I’m missing is a cowl, which looks like a neoprene ski mask.
“Why don’t you just try it?” I pull the cowl gently over my head.
A few times I underestimate how fast the current is, and find myself pinging from rock to rock, like I’m in a live-action pinball machine.
“That was great!” says the group leader.
After a few weeks of having to rotate my head so that my good ear is facing whoever I’m talking to, it’s like the boulder never happened.
“This year we had perfect conditions,” says Karuna Greenberg, Restoration Director for the Salmon River Restoration Council.

How Much Should Your Pack Weigh?

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When determining your pack weight, follow these very general guidelines: A loaded backpacking pack should not weigh more than about 20 percent of your body weight.
A loaded day hiking pack should not weigh more than about 10 percent of your body weight.
In addition to body weight, Loughney says, the following factors play a big part in the overall weight of your pack: Trip duration: The longer your trip, the more food, water and fuel you’ll need to carry, which, of course, adds weight to your pack.
Even on multiday adventures, you’ll still want your pack close to 20 percent of your body weight, so you’ll need to be extra thoughtful about the gear and clothing you’re carrying to compensate for all that extra gear.
How to Reduce Pack Weight Most hikers and backpackers see the value in carrying less weight: It can help you travel faster, farther and more comfortably.
But everything else that goes in your pack, such as your tent, sleeping bag, water filter, stove and clothing, will not change much from trip to trip.
Then sort your things into three piles: Items you used a lot, items you used occasionally and items you never used.
Also, think about how you pack your gear and clothing.
Many lightweight backpackers will ditch the stuff sack for their tent and pack the tent directly into their backpack.
Having items outside the pack can cause the load to feel unstable.

INDUSTRY NEWS | OUTDOOR

Down Jackets for Winter Adventures

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Higher-quality down lofts to a higher volume, so 800-fill power will insulate better for the same weight than 600-fill power.
The fill weight is how much total down is used in the garment.
We’ve listed the specs for the men’s hooded version.
Insider Tip: Heading somewhere wet?
The right shell fabric can also help protect the down.
Fill: 850-fill-power goose down certified to the RDS Shell Fabric: Pertex® ripstop nylon Best For: High-quality construction and design at a reasonable price This jacket has a pretty great resume—from high-lofted down to a sub-9-ounce weight (for women’s; men’s is 10.8 oz.
On many jackets, the amount of insulation varies based on location of the baffle—i.e., we need more warmth around our core than our lower arms.
Fill: PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco Shell Fabric: Recycled polyester ripstop, DWR finish Best For: Shoulder-season outerwear, versatile winter mid layer Yes, we know this isn’t down insulation.
The Nano Puff is a versatile insulating layer that works as a shoulder-season belay jacket, a winter hiking insulator, a ski touring layer, and anything in between.
Insider Tip: Synthetic insulation is becoming increasingly comparable to down.

The River Keeper

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Colorado River guide, photographer, and biologist Amy Martin will always call the Grand Canyon home There’s a mesmerizing quality to Amy Martin’s photographs that can be hard to describe—an interplay of angles, intensity, and light that imbue the canyon with a honeyed glow that makes it feel warm and inviting.
The viewer is sometimes behind an oar, peering downriver, or in a raft, watching the river reflect on the canyon walls.
One eye-level shot of the river’s emerald green waters is so evocative you can almost feel the cool breeze rising off the water.
The Flagstaff resident continues to work the river, rowing National Park Service science and educational trips, volunteering for the nonprofit Grand Canyon Youth, and guiding three to six other trips per year.
She also photographs for the nonprofit American Rivers, advocates for migrant workers, and does environmental justice work on the Navajo Nation.
Taking pictures, of course, wherever she goes.
Her favorite place to take pictures, and the source of her creative inspiration, is Northern Arizona.
“The canyons here are like no other,” says Martin.
Like Martin, she sees an immense opportunity to connect people to nature through guiding and art.
“As an Arizona native, I have lived with the paradox of water and desert for as long as I can remember,” she says.

How to Survive a Zombie Attack

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On this week’s show, Barbara Baird will talk to the podcaster’s producer and Zombie expert, Kenn Blanchard, about how to survive a zombie attack.
Carrie Lightfoot joins Barbara to discuss cool products, more zombie tips and other survival information, sponsored by Ruger.
Julie Golob weighs in with her Tip Time portion of the show, which is sponsored by NRA Women.
Topic: How to Survive a Zombie Attack Phone: 240-623-7200 Buy the book, Zombie Strike, by Kenn Blanchard and Derek Ward.
(Kindle, $7) Cool Products Barb has used these Birchwood Casey targets at a local zombie shoot and highly recommends them, especially for their halo rings after impact.
(Price varies — $8 and up) TWAW Product of the Week Zombie Green Gear!
Carrie says what better than zombie green for your holsters for firearms wear?
WON’s post of the week: Survival Lessons from the Walking Dead Barb mentions the “featured blogger” section of The WON has something from The Survival Mom about lessons from “The Walking Dead.” Download, listen and subscribe to The Women’s Gun Show on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

Hot coffee anywhere you go

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Invest in one of these mugs and banish the mess for good.
Perfect for a dawn-patrol cup of joe, the Rambler 20-ounce tumbler is as comfortable on the road as it is in your pack, with double-vacuum walls that keep your beverages hot or cold for hours on end.
Contigo Autoseal West Loop ($15) For fifteen bucks, the Contigo Autoseal West Loop is the ultimate bargain mug, but don’t let the price tag fool you.
Featuring the company’s Autoseal lid, this mug keeps your gear, car, and pants dry when road conditions deteriorate.
The Mighty Mug Biggie SS ($25) If you’ve ever left a cup of coffee on top of the car, this baby is for you.
The Mighty Mug’s Smartgrip technology creates an airlock to secure the drink carrier to any flat surface, making it all but untippable.
Additionally, the mug’s double-walled, vacuum-insulated construction keeps your coffee piping hot and ready to go, no matter where you leave it.
Chantal Single-Serve Easy Travel Mug ($21) Designed to fit perfectly under most single-serve coffee makers, the Chantal Single-Serve Easy Travel Mug is about as close to grab-and-go as you can get.
A simple push button allows you to drink from any side of the mug, so you can keep your eyes on the road instead of searching for your next sip.
Heat resistant borosilicate glass keeps your hands from burning up, and the bottle’s double lining will maintain tea temperature for at least an hour.

#OptOutside with REI

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Two years ago, we started a new tradition.
We opted out of Black Friday, closed our stores and invited the world to #OptOutside with us.
This year we’ll be closing again and paying all of you to spend the day outdoors!
It’s a choice we make to show the outdoor life we love matters more than a day of sales.
And to invite others to share in the experience, providing inspiration and tools to help people, from all backgrounds, enjoy life outside.
#OptOutside 2017 This year we are handing #OptOutside over to the millions of people who choose to #OptOutside, everywhere and every day.
Fueled by the participation of the outdoor community, we will make this information available for free, to all.
We are sharing community-generated images and experiences that inspire all of us to #OptOutside.
For the month leading up to Black Friday, we’ll be sharing new videos created entirely from community #OptOutside experiences.
Thank you for bringing #OptOutside to life for so many people.

Do you get a lot of boxes in the Mail?

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Q: What can we do about ALL the individual shipping boxes that Amazon and other retailers send out? Recycling doesn’t seem like enough. My friends and neighbors order every little thing and it all comes in separate boxes.
It’s even sponsored by Amazon and some other retailers, including Overstock, Loft, REI, Levi’s, Asics, Ann Taylor, Uncommongoods, Bon-Ton, Viva Terra, Ecru, Bonobos, Scrubs & Beyond, eBags, Lou & Grey, and Cherry Mad.
You simply empty the box you got from Amazon, and then fill it with as much used clothing, accessories, and household stuff that you no longer need or want. Then go to https://givebackbox.com/ to download a U.S. Post Office or UPS address label to Goodwill for free. Attach the lablel to the box and drop it off at any post office or UPS service, which will send it to your nearest Goodwill outlet. Goodwill stores pay for the shipments, which they then put on the market.